Sugar War

Do you read blogs where the writer never seems to struggle with anything?

I would love to be one of those writers. Unfortunately, when I struggle I need to write about it.

It’s one of those seasons in my life…

I won’t blame you if you run outta here. Hugs and smooches…please come back soon…

***

But if you stayed…this is nothing you haven’t heard me say before, I’m at war with sugar.

I have an emotional and physical connection with sugar that’s turned ugly. Sugary treats say: “I love you” to me. They make my heart rate slow when I’m upset. They set things right when everything feels out of control. I feel somewhat invincible when there’s sugar in my day. Here’s how this plays out…

Tell me something sad that you’re going through and I’ll pull out a bag of chocolate chips. I’ll weep into my cookie batter and process your issue as I measure out a cup of brown sugar and mix in the eggs. By the time I pull the just-done cookies from the oven I’ll have some comfort to give. Sit with me, plate of warm, crispy on the edges, chocolate chip cookies between us and I promise, somehow we’ll figure out a solution to your ‘something sad’.

I swear…that’s how I’ve always looked at a plate of cookies.

***

To complicate my twisted way of thinking, I started reading blogs about 5 years ago. Skipping from one blog home to another, I visited with men and women who baked my troubles away. When I started All Things Heart and Home, I had the perfect excuse to do all the time,  what I loved doing. Bake…bake…bake.

In the past, some of you asked me questions like: “Do you eat all those things you bake?” (Yes. I ate lots of every single thing I baked) “How do you bake all the time and stay thin?” (Truth is that I gained 10lbs. the first year I started blogging, but soon after the sugar took a toll and my undiagnosed Celiac Disease caused weight loss because my poor body wasn’t processing the food I ate. Great huh? Except I was also not absorbing any nutrients which left me with thinning hair, almost no eyelashes on one eye, Osteopenia, inflamed joints, constant pain in my gut…  quite the pickle by the time I found out)

 I have to be honest with you, even when I’d rather smile and tell you I have everything under control, one thing you can count on from me is that I’m compelled to tell you the ugly truth. So here it is…

Since I started blogging/baking my health has gone downnnnnnn-hill.

***

Whew…there it’s out in the open. I’m sorry, but I feel ever so much better now. I so wanted to be one of those cooks who could bake every day and nibble a bite here and a bite there and still button my pants.

But I’m weak. I’m a lover of sugar. I’m an addict.

Which is the reason I’ve been investigating sugar alternatives.

I wanted them to work for me. I wanted palm sugar to be my answer to refined white sugar…to be able to bake my rear-end off using agave and honey…but I found out (sadly) fructose is fructose and to put it simply: fructose is bad for my body.

And the more I researched the more I came across information about the unfortunate effects of sugar on the body.

(I’m not going to preach but if you want a bit more information THIS article in the NYTimes is a good starting point)

 In the past 9 months I’ve been diagnosed with Celiac Disease and Sjorgen’s Syndrome, both autoimmune issues, and while I knew it was time to start making healthier choices, I’m terrified to go cold turkey off of sugar.

A couple of weeks ago my sweet friend Jenn who knows about my struggle sent me a link to Sarah Wilson’s website. Sarah is a journalist from Australia who wrote an ebook: I Quit Sugar I expected it to be similar to other plans I’d seen…cold turkey. But Sarah’s plan is a kinder, gentler approach to letting go of addictive sugar.

She suggests you start with the attitude that you’ll just try it. Do the 8 week plan and then reevaluate, don’t commit to a lifetime without sugar. The first week is: Cut Back – not give it all up cold turkey…but cut back. Okay, I can do that. (See what I mean, kinder and gentler, which after coming off of gluten and lactose cold turkey…well, I need a kinder,gentler approach to giving up something I love)

So I’ve started Sarah’s 8 week plan. My friends who are sugar-lovers don’t be mad…I have to do this.

I’d like to keep you informed on how this goes…do you mind listening a little here and there?

And to those of you who stayed with me to the end of this post…thank you for letting me get this off my chest. :)

love love love to you~

(PS…those of you with Celiac Disease or Gluten Intorerance might like this article Sarah just wrote in answer to a question she was asked in a interview:

What’s with all the gluten intolerances?Why now? Really?

it’s the best piece I’ve read in answer to that snarky question so many of us have been asked…)

Comments

  1. says

    I think many of us have a love/hate relationship with sugar. I know I do. You are at least taking some positive steps toward getting it out of your life. I’m not at that point yet, but please keep us informed how it all goes for you. I hope to be inspired to take similiar steps.
    Best,
    Susan

  2. says

    Praying now for you my dear friend. Go kindly and gently to where you must. I am thankful you need to write about your struggles as there are many who need to read about them. Praying you find the food you need. Blessings and hope!

  3. Penny says

    As a health professional over the last year I’ve begun not only to view sugar as something that is not just not good for me but actually detrimental for my health. This January my husband and I gave up sugar starting with the hard stuff first: cake, cookies, candy, ice cream, pastries, cokes, treats of any kind really. Though we didn’t eat much before it was so hard not to have the simple carbohydrate when I wanted it because by body was CRAVING it. This month we stopped adding sugar (even though it was Sugar in the Raw) to our coffee. I hated it! Next month is sweentened cereals, yogurts, and granola bars. It’s been difficult but I’m so proud of myself for doing it and sticking to it. It’s also been helpful that I know my husband is doing it too and I don’t want to let him down either. I might take a little break from it at Easter and then during a vacation in May but other than that I plan on staying with it. Valentine’s Day was rough but we survived.
    Since this sugar purge, as we like to call it, I have gotten to think about how much we turn to food in times of stress, joy, dissapointment, sadness, etc and I’m happy to be forced to find a more productivew way to deal with those feelings.

    Stay strong and stick with it!! You’ll be so proud of yourself.

    • Robin says

      Penny! I’m so proud for you and your hubby!!!! I know how HUGE what you’re doing is…keep it up friend, you’ve encouraged me!
      xo

  4. says

    When we were young, my mother sold Shaklee vitamins and got turned onto a sugar-free diet. Our whole family went cold turkey- no sugar in the house-period. No white bread, no sugar sweetened cereal, no candy, no soda, all of it gone. It was harsh. We continued that way until mom got a job a few years later. She worked nights and dad and us kids fended for ourselves with groceries and cooking meals, but not a lot of sugar crept back in.

    Jump ahead to now, surprisingly, if sugar is not in my house, I don’t crave it or need it. If its around, I’ll indulge a little, but am quickly satisfied and if I eat too much, I feel sick.

    I try to do some of this with our boys. We don’t buy soda, and I don’t bake a lot. We rarely have candy on hand, etc. They will have to decide for themselves at some point, but maybe enough of a foundation has been laid they’ll have something to fall back on :)

    Its HARD Robin, but so worth it!! Just keep on going!! So proud of you!

    • Robin says

      Vicky that mama of yours gave you a gift and you’re passing it along to your boys…I pray I can stick with this. love u

  5. says

    thanks for sharing! i would love to hear how it goes for you. i really need to cut back on my sugar but am kind of scared, it has such a nasty hold on me!

  6. says

    I hear you. I am a member of the same club. :( Only satan can take something something God created (I’m talking about the natural forms of sugar) and twist it to the point of obsession. I’ve battled food issues my entire adult life. On the wagon, off the wagon, back on the wagon……ugh. :( I like you love to bake. Last week was my husband’s birthday and I made chocolate fudge and homemade oreos (convinced that homemade is better than buying store bought) and made him an icecream cake. I cooked all weekend and you know what, I was in heaven. I love being in the kitchen. But I know I have to change too. I read the articles, I “pin” healthy recipes and I will read about your journey to healthier eating. At first I may be jealous but hopefully it will spur me on. ;) Write away. :)

    • Robin says

      Gina…take it slow, if it’s meant to be you’ll start wanting the change. I never would have dreamed I’d even consider this…xo

  7. jenn says

    oh girl, i have such a desire to give you a BIG HUG right now! i have been drawn to this blog from the beginning BECAUSE you have chosen to present yourself honestly…even if it is hard to be transparent and vulnerable sometimes.

    i have watched another friend go on this journey, so i know it’s doable. cling to truth and grace and call whenever you would rather be chewing a chocolate chip! i’ll be there for you!

  8. says

    Robin, your HINESTY is what draws people to you so don’t give THAT up. I feel bad though that I may have contributed: pouring out MY troubles to you and it resulting in COOKIES:):):) Love you and know you can do this. XO, Pinky

  9. says

    I’m going to look for this book. Sugar is my last frontier food challenge. I know I would feel so much better if I tackle this too. Thanks for the info, looking forward to your updates.

  10. Ann says

    My 8 yr old has celiac’s, which is how I stumbled on to your blog. Love it. Crazy how my DH and I have been talking a lot about the ill effects of sugar on our bodies this week. I’m looking forward to reading the articles. Thanks!

    • Robin says

      Ann, ohhhh, hugs to that sweet 8 yr old of yours! It’s frightening if you ever start researching sugars effects on the body! xo

  11. Nisha says

    Oh my gosh! I am right there with you. After struggling with my gluten intolerance for over a year I just recently came to the conclusion that fructose and I are at war. I also have ulcerative colitis which my doctor now thinks may be Crohns, so tummy issues are the norm for me. Unfortunately, at the same time that I was coming to the conclusion about frutose I realized I am addicted to sugar. I told myself I could tolerate cane sugar pretty well and started stuffing my face with it. Then I said, well maybe I can have fructose in moderation and am currently making some really bad food choices but I just can’t help it! I will gladly take this journey with you. It’s a tough road to take alone. *hug*

  12. says

    You are not alone in your struggle against sugar, Robin, or becoming less healthy after blogging. But know that there are many successful sugar-free bloggers and your blog appeals to many for much more than sugar-filled recipes! Many thanks for sharing Sarah’s post! That is truly one of the best articles I’ve seen anywhere.

    Happy weekend, dear! You can and will beat the sugar. So will I. I’ve done it before and thrived, so I know I can again. The amazing thing is that once you get it out of your system, you don’t want it at all.

    xo,
    Shirley

    • Robin says

      Shirley, thank you for the encouragement my friend, and you’re right there are many great sugar free food blogs out there ! xo

  13. Carol says

    Oh, Robin, I so understand and feel your pain/struggles. This last week I have been reading lots of in-depth articles about celiac, recurrent yeast infections, leaky gut, and intestional yeast infection. I’m starting down this additional journey and am totally not thrilled with the prospect of giving up sugar, which is basically the path you take if you have an intestional yeast infection, in addition to giving up yeast… giving up sugar and yeast , seriously ?? I pray that you find yourself stronger every day, physically and mentally, and God meets you right in the middle of this and shows you that He is more than enough for you to go through this battle as an overcomer, not just barely making it and limping through. He will give you the strength ! Love to you :)

  14. Jen says

    Thank you for all this information Robin. I too would love to give up sugar…it is definitely my enemy. I have cut down but need to do more. I know I would feel better. Good luck and keep us posted!

    Jeannette

  15. Mizzy says

    I hate sweets since I was young. My mother train me as a little girl to behave and delicate. I always follow what my mom says even food intake. Until now, I traditionally inherit mother’s training to my son to avoid sugar.

  16. says

    I agree with you on the sugar thing. We started cutting out refined/processed foods, though I do use natural sugar like honey, maple syrup and rapadura. It’s been hard getting family on board and they don’t understand our concerns, continuing to give our kids ice cream, cookies, etc. *sigh* And with all the special occasions throughout the year it’s so easy to slip up. Sometimes I feel like I need proof from the doctor, some sort of allergy or intolerance to wave in people’s faces to convince them that it isn’t good for us.

Trackbacks

  1. […] HomeSugar Warby Robin on April 13, 2012I started the no-sugar plan on February 16. (Wrote about it here)I loved that the plan was slow and easy…well, it was slow anyway. And I’m certain that […]

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